The Sounders announced 11 families that will be joining their ownership group Tuesday, and you may have heard of some of them.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife, Grammy Award-winning singer and actor Ciara, join hip-hop star Macklemore and his wife, Tricia Davis, headlining the new group of investors. The group joins current owners Adrian Hanauer, Drew Carey and Jody Allen.
The rest of the field includes:
Former Microsoft executive Terry Myerson and his wife, Katie Myerson
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and his wife, Anu Nadella
Microsoft chief financial officer Amy Hood and her husband, Max Kleinman
Microsoft corporate vice president of experiences and devices Joe Belfiore and his wife, Kristina Belfiore
Former Microsoft senior executive and current managing director of Madrona Venture Group, Soma Somasegar, and his wife, Akila Somasegar
Chief product officer at Twilio, Chee Chew and his wife, Christine Chew, who is president of the Bellevue School Board
David Nathanson, formerly of FOX Sports Media Group, and his wife, Sabina Nathanson
Former Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews and his wife, Elise Holschuh, who serves on the strategy committee of Hugo House
Mark Agne, former managing partner at Softbank Investment Advisors, and Tomoko Agne
“Seattle means so much to me and Ciara,” Wilson said in a news release. “We’re fired up about being part of the Sounders for a long, long time, having ownership in the Sounders and continuing to build that winning culture.
“When I got here in 2012, Seattle was a place that I felt I could call home forever. And obviously because of the Seahawks, and now because of the Sounders, it makes that really come to life. We’re really excited about building that winning culture. This city is a special place. The Pacific Northwest is a place we love and we get to raise our kids here and have a lot of fun while doing it. We want to bring the best soccer players in the world right here to Seattle.
“We think this is a transformational sport. It changes peoples’ lives. It brings people together from all different countries, all different worlds, all different socio-economic statuses, all different races, all different troubles in life – it brings people together. That’s what we’re excited about for this game, this team, and what we can do in Seattle.”
Ciara, in a release, said: “This is not only a special moment for Russ and I, but for our kids as well. When we walked into the building and our kids were running around with their names on their little jerseys, it meant a lot for so many reasons. It’s an honor to join the Sounders team and have the unique opportunity to represent female ownership within major league sports. The team has already done some amazing things, but I believe the best is ahead and we’re excited to be part of that.”
Russell Wilson, Ciara, Macklemore and more are introduced to Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer and coach Brian Schmetzer ahead of the announcement that Wilson, Ciara, Macklemore and others are joining the Sounders’ ownership group. (Courtesy of Sounders)
Macklemore, who grew up on Capitol Hill, said in a release: “Man, to be part of this organization, having grown up in Seattle – it’s pretty surreal. It’s just very exciting. I’m very honored. I think we have a great group. This team is building an incredible legacy and I’m just excited to be part of it.”
As part of the changes announced Tuesday, Hanauer Futbol, a group made up of Adrian Hanauer, Paul Barry and Lenore Hanauer, increased its investment in the Sounders, while founding owner Joe Roth is departing the ownership group.
“Today we begin another chapter in the story of Seattle Sounders FC, this proud club that means so much to so many people,” Sounders majority owner Adrian Hanauer said in a release. “We are doubling down on this community and growing our local roots even deeper. Sounders FC was born right here in Seattle, and for more than 40 years, the club has forged a meaningful legacy that is deep and far-reaching. Today’s news is a testament to what our community has accomplished, as 11 new families have joined with the broader Sounders family as fans and invested stewards of our club.”